Friday, October 22, 2010

I sweat like a pig...

Where does that saying even come from?  Have you ever seen a sweaty pig?  I know I FEEL like a big, fat pig when I sweat.  For whatever reason, I associate sweating with being fat.  I have always been a sweaty kid.  I remember going to see bands play, and my hair would be DRENCHED with sweat (I mostly sweat from my head).  Even if I wasn't moving or doing anything.  When I was overweight, I couldn't wait to lose the weight because I thought the sweating would suddenly stop.  It didn't.  My mom said when I was a kid, she'd always be cold, so she'd wrap me up in blankets and she'd look back at me and I'd have beads of sweat forming on my nose. 

So I guess nothing has changed.  Fat or "skinnier," I sweat.  Now I'm on a medication that makes me sweat more.  And it makes me feel fat.  Even though I've been sweaty my whole life, I still associate sweating with being a fatty.  It's embarrassing.  People must think I'm always running a fever or maybe I just got done running a half marathon (RIGHT!  HAHAHA!!!).  Nope, just feeling a little warm (if I'm already like this, I don't even want to know what menopause is going to feel like).  It's like my body has a hard time regulating itself (and I've had my thyroid's fine).  Because then I'll get freezing cold because I have wet hair.  I just can't win. 

I sweat when I get out of the shower and I'm trying to get dressed and put on makeup (on most work days, I no longer bother drying my hair or putting on makeup anymore).  When I'm working out.  I sweat when it's just vaguely warm outside.  I POUR sweat when it's humid (Texas and Hawaii were fun trips this year).  I constantly have a waterfall coming down my face.  I hate it. 

The one positive thing is that it keeps my skin pretty clear.  But I still hate sweating.  I've heard there are prescriptions to help you sweat less.  But I believe they are like roll-on deodorant sticks.  And, what am I going to do?  Roll-on all over my head?  That seems stupid.  So I guess I'll continue to bring my little battery operated fans and make sure I have AC available more often than not because  I don't see any other simple solutions to this little (big, fat, sweaty) problem.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

That dirty rotten Panda

Occasionally I eat at Panda Express.  I have to be careful what I eat there.  Too much rice makes me sick.  Greasy chow mein does too.  Can't have too much fried food because it fills me up fast and then I don't get enough nutrition.  But, I still consider a visit to Panda at least a step above Taco Bell or McDonalds (which make me super sick, so I try to avoid completely).

When I'm being "bad," I'll get a meal with fried rice and maybe orange chicken or their new sweet fire chicken, and potstickers.  It usually amounts to two or three meals for me (although by the third meal, its usually gross so I generally throw out whatever I haven't eaten after I've reheated it once -- but I'm really weird about microwaving food).  When I'm being "good," I just get the potstickers.  Sometimes three (one order).  Maybe six if I'm really hungry. 

Last night was a Panda night.  I had Twirly Girls and didn't get home until late again.  Since it was my second workout of the day, I figured I'd eat food instead of a protein shake.  I knew Rob probably hadn't eaten so I offered to pick something up.

I debated with myself about what I would get.  Would I get the whole meal?  Yeah, I had worked out twice and could probably swing the calories.  But it was late and did I really NEED all of those calories right before bed?  So I settled with choosing six potstickers.  It would be a full meal, but they just seem healthier than fried rice and fried chicken with sweet sauce all over it.

Then I whipped out my iPhone and Restaurants app.

Holy hell.  Potstickers are not low in calories at all.  In fact, of all the appetizers (and the REST of their appetizers are heavily fried), they are the HIGHEST in calories.  ONE potsticker is 220 calories!!  That means when I was eating six of them, I was eating 1,320 calories!!!!!  A serving of white rice is 430 calories (not that I can ever eat the entire serving).  Chow mein is only 400!  Fried rice is 480 calories.  Orange chicken is 545 calories.  That means, I can have an entire serving of FRIED rice and FRIED orange chicken for 300 LESS calories than potstickers (granted, I KNOW that potstickers are "fried" but I thought they were only flash fried in the wok, not thrown into a greasy fryer).  And, honestly, I can't eat the entire serving of rice AND chicken, so I'd eat half (a little over 500 calories for the meal)....but I can down six potstickers without a problem.

I skipped the potstickers and just got one of their small Panda bowls with white rice and chicken.  

Luckily, I don't eat at Panda Express often.  But it definitely made me realize that I need to re-think what I'm eating and how I'm counting calories.  I've pretty much "dieted" my entire life and have always had a pretty good handle about what's going into my face.  Or maybe I don't and I just keep telling myself that it's not my own fault that I'm still fat.


After ranting on here, I went to Panda's actual website to see if their nutrition facts matched my iPhone app's stats.  Of course they don't.  According to Panda, the 220 calories is for the entire order of potstickers, not one potsticker (which actually seems a bit low...I would guess each potsticker to be around 100 calories).  Whew.  I feel better.  Although, their nutrition facts don't match on a lot of other things.  Fried rice is 570 not 480.  Orange chicken is supposedly 400 not 545.  Who knows which is right.  I'm sure there are a lot of variables.  The calories listed are for a serving size.  Do they really scoop one serving size?  Probably best to just skip the fast food from now on to be safe.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I like to eat ice cream for dinner

Last night, I got home kind of late.  I helped a friend move after work and got home close to 8 (and normally I try to get in bed by 9 so I can go to the gym the next morning).  I also ran by the bank, then needed change so I went by 7-11, where I had to buy something to get said change.  They never like to just give you change, so I bought ice cream.  I had initially planned to have a protein shake for dinner.  But my ice cream called to me.  So I ate ice cream for dinner. 

Recently, I read some articles about whether it was better to have nothing for breakfast or have a donut.  They were expecting you to pick nothing, however the "correct" answer was the donut.  The thought process behind it is that it's better to have something sugary in your system in the morning than nothing at all.  Breakfast is definitely important.  I don't know that a donut would be the best choice for me -- or any other gastric bypass patient -- just because our bodies don't process sugar normally anymore.  But it got me thinking about nutrition versus calories.

So last night, should I have eaten my dinner in addition to my ice cream?  I was perfectly full and satisfied.  I am trying really hard to watch my calorie intake, however I also understand the importance of good nutrition.  But if, theoretically, I've spent 2,000 calories on eating junk food all day, should I force myself to eat something more nutritious?  I don't eat ice cream for dinner every day -- I couldn't even tell you the last time I ate ice cream for dinner.  But I am definitely a snacker/grazer.  And I am finding lately that sometimes I will snack all morning at work and not be hungry at lunch.  Should I eat my lunch just because it's lunch time?  Or should I just be satisfied with the calories I've eaten and save my lunch for another day? 

Just curious what everyone else thinks!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The state of the State

The economy.


I go through periods of time where I stop watching the news.  It's so depressing.  The economy is bad.  People are killing each other.  How often do you hear GOOD NEWS on the news?  Almost never.  So I turn the TV off. 

Recently, I was talking to my aunt from Thailand about the economy and the massacre of the housing industry in the US.  The news will flip flop on the issue -- first telling you that the economy is coming back up, then the next day telling you that last summer was the worst for foreclosures in awhile.  I've been telling everyone for months that this isn't over yet.  Before the downturn started, people had gotten into three, five, even seven year adjustable rate mortgages.  We've watched the three years go into the garbage, leaving the five and seven years still to come.  It's frustrating.

I lost my condo to foreclosure.  It was a difficult decision to let it go.  I talked to my CPA and an attorney.  Did a lot of soul searching (can't make it an emotional issue).  Read a lot of articles.  I was so proud of myself -- when the housing market started to drop out, the news made those ARMs sound like dirty, backdoor deals.  The people who got into these loans didn't have jobs and just went "stated income/no docs," so they wouldn't have to prove they had income.  I had a job.  I had "docs."  I was a-okay, right?! 

Then I pulled out my paperwork to read it.  Holy shit.  ARM just stands for "adjustable rate mortgage."  It was a "tool" being used by homeowners and lenders all over the world to get people into houses they couldn't afford.  I guess I vaguely knew I was in one.  I did sign the paperwork.  I even remember my loan guy saying not to worry because we'd just refi in a few years.  Yeah, it didn't quite work out that way. 

I started calling my mortgage company months before my rate was due to adjust.  I was so proud of myself.  I had my paperwork and my numbers and I was going to be one of those proactive homeowners who called the mortgage company first to workout a deal to keep my home.

Dial tone.

Guess what?  The mortgage company didn't care.  I had Countrywide, which was supposed to be the largest holder of these bad mortgages.  Bank of America then bought them out.  Maybe it was the transition period (although I've heard story after story about non-responsiveness so maybe they were overwhelmed or just didn't care, or maybe since they can write off bad loans on their tax return, there's no incentive to help?), but I couldn't get anyone to help me.  The person on the phone would take my number and information.  And I wouldn't get a call back.  I called.  I wrote letters.  Nothing.

Then my mortgage adjusted.  Initially it went up only a few hundred dollars.  But it was scheduled to go up $300 every six months until I died.  This is interest only, mind you.  They are making thousands of dollars off me every month, and the principal remained untouched.  I was living in a one bedroom condo and was paying $2,000 a month to live there (including HOA dues, etc.).  I paid more for this condo than my dad paid for his 4 bedroom house in Texas.  Just didn't seem right. 

A couple of months after the rate adjusted, I received a FedEx from Bank of America.  CONGRATULATIONS!  They had accepted my request to modify my mortgage!  And they had "accepted" my request, at a much higher interest rate, and it was another ARM.  Thanks for nothing, idiots.  

Anyway, I'll spare you the details of the two years that followed.  There were a lot of considerations on which I based my decision (an HOA that hadn't been keeping up with maintenance for one...).  In the end, I lost my house.  A few years ago, my condo appraised at $265,000.  It went to auction for around $65,000.  Obama kept talking about helping people keep their homes.  Those programs were for people 5% "under water."  No mention of those of us who were 70% plus under. 

So now the news is trying to blow sunshine up our asses and say the economy is recovering.  The very next story will be about how jobs are still being lost at an alarming rate and homes are still being foreclosed upon.  While I am grateful to still have a job in this economy (and be able to wear jeans and flip flops to boot), I haven't had a raise in almost four years.  My expenses keep going up.  But my income doesn't.  So I get to stress and budget and keep moving things around to make sure everything gets paid.  I know I'm not the only one out there.  And I hope that the country really does start to recover soon.  I don't even need an excess of money.  I'd just like to have enough. 

So I'm going to leave you with this story.

"I wish you enough!"©
By Bob Perks

I never really thought that I'd spend as much time in airports as I do. I don't know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I'm not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.
I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to "hello" and "goodbye." I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.

I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye. 

Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.
On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, "How are you today?" I replied, "I am missing my wife already and I haven't even said goodbye."

She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, "How long will you...Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!" We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye. But I learn from goodbye moments, too.

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, "I love you. I wish you enough." She in turn said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy."

They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?" 

"Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man experiencing.

"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?" I asked.

"I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral," he said.

"When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, "I wish you enough. May I ask what that means?"

He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more."When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friends, I wish you enough!
by Bob Perks

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Adventures of a Traveling Twirly Girl

My friends got married in Maui on 10/10/10.  So, this Twirly Girl grabbed her boy and took a trip!  We stayed at the Maui Coast Hotel in Kihei.  We did some shopping in Lahaina (found a pole studio there; wish I had gotten the starfish ring!!!) and Makena.  Visited Big Beach in Makena (and the ocean ate me up and spit me out, practically naked; we avoided Little Beach, though, which is supposed to be a nude beach).  Went to a luau (fun fire show).  Drove the Road to Hana (barf...not my favorite...three hours of 5-10 MPH driving on a windy road).  Swam in the Seven Pools (FUN!).  Visited the Grand Wailea (beautiful hotel).  And attended a gorgeous wedding in at Poipu Beach in Makena.  Congratulations to Mike and Vanessa!  May you have a lifetime of happiness!!

We left knowing all the things we need to go back and do (didn't get to see the crater...wish we had swapped out Hana for that; Rob wanted to do some ziplining and take some helicopter tours).  Here are a few photos of our adventures.  The entire set can be found on my flickr account:

 View from Lahaina
 Fire show at the luau
 Rob and Lori at the end of our day-long trip to Hana
Got lei'd
Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez!
 Rob and Lori after the wedding
 Rob holding the sun in his hands
 View from the plane as we were leaving Maui
 Rob and Lori before the luau
 Rob and Lori at the beginning of the trip to Hana
 On the way to Hana
 Pool bar at the Grand Wailea
 The bride and groom with some of the family
 The bride at sunset
 The bride coming down the "aisle" with her dad
Sunset in Kihei -- our first night in Maui